About the Online Lecture
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A book steeped in empathy and insight, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents explores, through layered analysis and stories of real people, the structure of an unspoken system of human ranking and reveals how our lives are still restricted by what divided us centuries ago.
Author Isabel Wilkerson rigorously defines eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, heredity, and dehumanization. She documents the parallels with two other hierarchies in history, those of India and of Nazi Germany, and no reader will be left without a greater understanding of the price we all pay in a society torn by artificial divisions.
In 2019 the lecture series This is America. Reflections on a Divided Country started as a collaboration between the Bavarian American Academy and the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism. In this series, renowned intellectuals are invited to examine historical developments and discuss the current political and cultural state of affairs in the United States.
Photo: Isabel Wilkerson © Joe Henson
About Isabel Wilkerson
Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her deeply humane narrative writing while serving as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times in 1994, making her the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first African American to win for individual reporting. In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded Wilkerson the National Humanities Medal for "championing the stories of an unsung history."